Kae Matundu-Tjiparuro

“The critical needs of the working class can only be fulfilled in a socialist Namibia,” members of the Marxist Study Group wrote in a piece in the Namibian newspapers headlined: “The End of Swapo?”

Yours Truly Ideologically could not agree more or less with this piece, especially the aspiration towards socialism and the realisation that only socialism or socialist Namibia can fulfill the basic or critical needs of the working class in Namibia, as is the case indeed the world over. This is given the continued and continuing realisation that the needs of the working are unfulfilled, if altogether to a greater extent not betrayed. Foremost by those pretending to have the interest of the working on their political agenda. With the rights of the workers remaining only superficial, and their basic and/or critical needs thus largely unfulfilled. Because leaders of the workers, or a significant part their leadership, have been coopted in the capitalist system. Some are serving on the boards of corporations. It thus goes without saying whose interests they are serving on the boards of these corporations. With some of these leaders even having shares in these corporations, personal to them as opposed to being held in trust on behalf of the workers.

Given such shareholdings it is axiomatic that few if any are serving the interests of the working class. As shareholders these leaders are aspirant capitalists, if not capitalists already, and thus beholden to capitalism. Workers are in this regard left to their own devices, a benign working class flock without a genuine leadership. Not to mention the fact that the working class movement itself, given the cooption of its leadership, has to a large degree been debased of the requisite working class ethos and values, and even ideology to be trusted any longer with championing the cause of the workers.

Thirty years plus into political emancipation, a period when the workers must and should be preparing for a takeover of political power, to become their own liberators, and to usher in a socialist Namibia, as the Marxist Study Group is envisioning, a socialist Namibia remains but a pipe dream for now in Namibia. Because for the past 30 years plus of Namibian political emancipation, socialism has never featured as a prospect. Simply because it has never been on the agenda of those politically reigning, despite what has now become an unholy alliance between some the trade unions and the governing political party.

Similarly for the workers themselves, the 30 years plus of political freedom, has been just what is has been, political freedom, without translating into socio-economic justice. Thereby laying the foundation for eventual transition into socialism. Workers have been eking out, under difficult socio-economic conditions, a living. Before they can begin to start to chart their own course towards unchaining the shackles of capitalism. With the have-been liberators themselves equally lining up and falling over one another scrambling for capitalist crumbs and corruption spoils. Given this their pretentions, of sooner and or later unshackling the capitalist chains of the workers in Namibia, has been just what they are, pretentions and political trickery. That is why bids lately by some social forces for an alternative labour organisation, is likely to find some resonance among the workers. Especially with some labour leaders unashamedly defending the very capitalist system, which is the Achilles heel of the wo
rkers as has been seen lately in the GIFP’s aversion to providing low earning civil servants with housing loans.

The labour footprint this far in the form of the Labour Act, is not but a necessary evil within the capitalist framework of continuing the exploitation of the workers in Namibia. Thus any envisioning of the workers in Namibia starting to enjoy any meaningful fulfilment of critical needs, as long the capitalist status continue to entrench itself, shall remain but only a hollow, illusionary envisioning. Until likeminded forces, including the Marxist Study Group, start to get out their slumber and are ideologically reawakened to the historical mission of a socialist Namibia. Meaning the first and foremost mammoth task for the socialist inclined in Namibia, is ideologically reawakening. If the recent elections in Namibia, starting with the National and Presidential ones in 2019, and followed by the Regional and Local Authority elections last year, is a pointer to, is that the objective conditions may now slowly presenting themselves in Namibia for a radical socio-economic transformation of society, paving the way
towards a socialist Namibia that all workers in Namibia, and their allies must surely be craving for. But the missing link is the ideological disposition, of not only the workers, but all “progressive forces”, in the country. Because without an ideological reawakening, coupled with the objective conditions on the ground, and an open upswing in resilience against capitalism, a socialist Namibia is very very long in the making. Recent showings by some new political entrants may give reason for only hope. Not only this but it is any one’s guess how realistic such hope may, and how long for that matter should the workers continue to hope against hope. Instead of standing up for their historic mission. Hence Yours Truly Ideologically declaration of this year as the year of ideological reawakening and resilience, as a serious starter towards a realistic envisioning of a socialist Namibia.